Jamie Campbell-Walter Q&A

Jamie Campbell-Walter took the FIA GT championship in emphatic style this year with the help of sportscar stalwart and ex Formula 1 driver Julian Bailey. The British pair took the championship at the final round of the series at Magny-Cours behind the wheel of a Lister and in so doing gave the British sportscar manufacturer it's first ever international title in its almost 50-year history

Jamie Campbell-Walter Q&A

Autosport.com caught up with the newly-married Campbell-Walter to find out how he coped with Bailey as a team mate, how sweet victory tasted and what the future holds for Britain's fastest rising sportscar talent.



"Well I've got married and been on my honeymoon since then, so I guess it does. But I thoroughly enjoyed the season, it's been really good and it's nice to have everybody's hard work finally pay off. From Lister's point of view it's been a long time coming. The company was started back in 1953 and Laurence [Pearce, Lister team owner] took over in 1988 which is a long time to wait for an international championship. To see Brian Lister's face when we clinched the title was actually quite emotional."



"It's obviously great to win an international championship and good to work with Jules [Bailey] to help Lister, but in CV terms it's hopefully set me up as a name for the future and for a long time to come."



"Well, yes and no. No because I went down in car size. The GT1 car was a bit of a beast to drive. With an extra 100 horsepower and carbon fibre-brakes and tub it was a very, very quick car. So using the GT2 car in the International series was in some ways easier. But I had never really raced in Europe before, so absolutely everything was new to me apart from Silverstone and we also didn't do any pre-season testing abroad. So it was a case of arrive on Thursday afternoon, a quick whip round on the moped and then 'right I've learnt that one and lets get on with it."



"I learnt more last year definitely. In terms of pace I first drove this year's car at Donington for about 15 laps and we did almost identical times. The car was then flown out to Valencia for the first round and after the opening free practice session I ended up quickest overall, which was obviously great. Julian was a bit miffed, being the number one in the team, but there was only about a thousandth of a second between us, and in the races we were about 50/50 on pace. Testing was where we really pushed and we ended up pretty squared up there as well, which is a great boost for my confidence and hopefully I've proved to the world that I can match anyone on my day."



"Yes. That decision was a joint one between the drivers and the team. Jules wasn't so much feeling the pressure, but he'd had the pressure of starting all season and there was only a four-and-a-half point lead so he just said to me 'why don't you do the bloody start?' I was feeling quite confident that weekend and Laurence could see that so he said 'don't worry, Jamie can do it, he's been with us for two years and we know what he's like.' And that was it. It was as simple as that - I started the race. We didn't decide until half an hour before the start of the race in the back of the truck!"



"The sprint car for 2001 will be a new version of the existing car which will incorporate modifications carried out this year into the original design, rather than having them as add-ons. For 2002 the plan is to build a car that is capable of doing a 24-hour race in terms of engine, gearbox and bascially the whole drivetrain. The car will also have a back-end à la Audi, so the whole rear of the car can be changed in a matter of minutes."



"It all depends how quickly the fabricators get on and do it, and if it's ready then obviously we'll use it. The other problem is that some of the cars are designed to do 24-hour races like Chrysler and Porsche, whereas the Lister is designed as a sprint car and is only reliable enough to do three hours. It could be made to be reliable enough for 24 hours, but it's a case of chequebook engineering. Chrysler and Porsche have plenty of money and Lister doesn't. In fact it's amazing what we've achieved on our budget which probably wouldn't even cover Mercedes' hospitality spending for a year."



"Well I'm working on it, watch this space. I'm talking to a few people. My idea of winning Le Mans is winning it outright. Winning your class? Alright you win the class, and obviously Lister would be a GTS car, but every driver dreams of winning Le Mans. If you got offered a drive in a Viper, or a Lister, or a Corvette then obviously you'd take it and if you won the class you'd say 'I won Le Mans.' But in real terms you've got to win it overall and ultimately that's where I want to be."



"Yes, unless Laurence decides to go all out and build a Le Mans winner, which he might do. Lister is growing as a company and it's got some good private backing. But what Laurence doesn't want to do is grow too quickly because you can sink just as quickly. Lister's won the FIA and British GT titles and it'll do the FIA championship again next year and then Le Mans."



"Possibly. There's talk of it and it's possible, but it's not a definite. I think that's where the competition is. The FIA GTs get a lot stick and people seem to think the cars are not as competitive, but we ran at the ALMS meeting at Silverstone and we beat the ORECA Viper qualifying time by one tenth [of a second] with 100kg extra weight and they had carbon-fibre brakes. It was the same at the last round where the Carsport Holland Viper was just two tenths behind us. They then flew straight to Las Vegas and qualified just one tenth behind Beretta's Viper in the ALMS race - so what if we had been there with our Lister? Roll on 2002."

shares
comments
Lister targets classic enduros
Previous article

Lister targets classic enduros

Next article

Baby prototype class could attract MG

Baby prototype class could attract MG
How to get the best out of amateur racers Plus

How to get the best out of amateur racers

Pro-Am GT racing is booming. But how should drivers approach working with an amateur? Autosport sought out a panel of experts to explain the pitfalls amateur drivers should avoid and how professionals can help them to achieve their goals

GT
Apr 3, 2022
The remarkable career of a 'classy' champion who rejected politics Plus

The remarkable career of a 'classy' champion who rejected politics

Over two decades as a factory driver with Audi and BMW, Martin Tomczyk earned the respect of team-mates and rivals as a hard but fair racer. After calling time on his racing career, the 2011 DTM champion sat down with Autosport to look back

GT
Mar 5, 2022
The ex-IndyCar racer in "uncharted territory" of British GT team ownership Plus

The ex-IndyCar racer in "uncharted territory" of British GT team ownership

This weekend’s British GT finale will be a tense title showdown for some but, for those not in the championship fight, it’s a chance to end a challenging year on a high. In the latter camp is Paddock Motorsport's team owner Martin Plowman, whose 2021 season has been a rollercoaster ride of non-stop learning

National
Oct 15, 2021
The unpopular BMW stalwart built for the big occasion Plus

The unpopular BMW stalwart built for the big occasion

It has won most of the big prizes in endurance racing across its six years in service, but the BMW M6 GT3's key weaknesses meant only a devoted few teams persisted with running it. As it prepares to bow out at season's end, the teams and drivers involved in its story share the secrets of an unpopular winner

GT
Oct 7, 2021
The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever Plus

The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever

Had FIA GT boss Stephane Ratel had his way, the Maserati MC12 would never have been allowed to set foot in his series. It duly proved the class of the field that most had expected, but the Balance of Performance that its superiority spawned would keep GT1 battles tight and bring long-term benefits that sportscar racing enjoys today

GT
Sep 21, 2021
Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage Plus

Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage

The E-Type may be the most famous of all road-going Jaguars, but that didn't always translate into success on the track. After winning on its competition debut in 1961, motorsport success seemed an inevitability, but things didn’t turn out to be quite that straightforward

GT
Aug 6, 2021
Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60 Plus

Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60

It’s 60 years since the Jaguar E-type arrived and caused a sensation. As our resident racer Ben Anderson discovered when he got behind the wheel of two special racing versions at Brands Hatch, the thrill of driving them hasn't diminished over time

GT
Jul 31, 2021
The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat Plus

The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat

It's a significant achievement to win one 24-hour race in a year, let alone two, and with different manufacturers, but that's exactly what ROWE Racing did in 2020 at the Nurburgring and Spa. This weekend's German classic offers the DTM newcomer a chance of another unique double to add to its growing collection of accolades

GT
Jun 3, 2021